Today’s Reading: Revelation 17-18
Today’s Reflection: Revelation 18:4
Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues.”
The ‘her’ in question is Babylon. ‘She’ is a blasphemer (Revelation 17:3) and revels in the murder of the saints of God (Revelation 17:6). ‘She’ is also described as the city that has dominion over all of the kings of the earth (Revelation 17:18), and the place where the kings of the world have been made rich (Revelation 18:3).
So Babylon is wealth, power and influence. Babylon promises riches, prestige and economic security. And Babylon, because of it’s blasphemies and it’s sins and idolatry with the rulers of the world (described symbolically as ‘sexual immorality’), is a place that will cost you your soul.
This is why the people of God are called to come out of her. To be apart from her. To not take part in her sins, so they won’t suffer the plagues she will suffer.
In practical terms, all of us are tempted at times to compromise our God-given values in exchange for the promise of worldly success. This is the lure of Babylon. The word tells us to reject it and to put our trust in God for our provision.
Matthew 6:31-33 – 31) Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32) For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33) But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
You may think that the compromise to your God-given values and principles is so minor that it won’t affect your faith. That it doesn’t have to change what you believe or how you fundamentally behave. You would be wrong.
Matthew 6:24 – “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
Matthew 16:26 – For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?
Those of us who follow the angel’s instruction to come out of Babylon and who turn to God with our whole hearts will not be deceived as the world is, and our names will be written in the book of life (Revelation 17:8). But if we choose to share in the pleasures and riches of Babylon, we will also share in it’s destruction.
Revelation 18:21 – Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “So will Babylon the great city be thrown down with violence, and will be found no more.”